For a brand that was launched from the sun-kissed beaches in Hawaii, Maui Jim has come a long long way – from sitting on the bridge of the nose of the American President to creating a fan following amongst sports professionals and movie stars to becoming the official eyewear for the ATP World Tour
Maui Jim may have been the name of a pet harlequin macaw belonging to one of the forerunners of the brand; it may also have been conceived as a product from the laid-back chilled out environment of the beaches in Maui, Hawaii. But the bottom line is that Maui Jim sunglasses, with its unique UV ray blocking polarized lenses, have travelled across the US and the globe, capturing hearts and a fairly large size of the market. A new achievement has just been added to its list of glories. Maui Jim has entered into a new global partnership with ATP, wherein it has become the official eyewear for the ATP World Tour. As part of the three-year agreement, it also becomes the official supplier of the ATP World Tour as well as the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 arena in London. Over the years many players, coaches and line judges have discovered the benefits of the PolarizedPlus2® lens technology that bettered their view of the game. The partnership with ATP was obviously the next logical step.
It was in 1988 that the original owners brought the brand to the mainland states, but despite the physical move the sunglasses retained their unique sporty and oceanic ‘feel’. Of course since then, times have changed. So has the management. Maui Jim originally had its main distribution centre in Lahaina, Hawaii, but moved to Peoria after buying RLI Vision, the original vision insurance and vision care products unit of RLI Corp., in December 1996. The transaction was structured so that RLI Corp. became a major shareholder in Maui Jim, which has continued to the present. Now, in addition to their non-prescription sports sunglasses, Maui Jim also manufactures prescription lenses for their designs. In 1999 Forbes Magazine listed Maui Jim in their 100 Things Worth Every Penny article.
Thirty years since its inception, the brand has certainly arrived. One of the favourites of US President Barack Obama, it is also largely patronised by movie stars, both Hollywood and Bollywood actors like Jude Law, George Clooney and Saif Ali Khan. The brand, known primarily for its snazzy sporty style, has also found many takers amongst top sports professionals. Ernie Els, one of the most prolific golfers of our times, for instance, finds great value in the brand. So do top ATP professionals like David Ferrer, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Benoît Paire. Several ocean sports professionals also swear by the brand.
Maui Jim claims to have the lowest return rate in the optical industry, which means less than one per cent of jobs are returned for manufacturing errors. To ensure top quality during the manufacturing process, sunglasses go through up to 22 separate manufacturing steps and are inspected up to six times. With such perfection driven attitude, it is no wonder that it has many milestones to its name.
Maui Jim was the first to make UV ray protected polarized sunglasses in Hawaii, where the sun’s glare is really harsh. But it bettered itself when it announced an advancement with PolarizedPlus®, a lens technology that not only used an advanced polarizing film, but also applied bi-gradient mirrors and anti-reflective treatments to block glare from above, below and behind each lens. PolarizedPlus was such unique technology that it was awarded a U.S. Patent and was introduced in a line of seven frame styles.
The company launched a 24,000 square feet state-of-the-art surfacing lab in 2006, and a year later introduced Maui Readers, and Maui Passport in 2008, offering prescription wearers fantastic sharpness of vision. Later Maui HTTM was launched to combat low-light conditions. In 2012, the company launched major lens technologies including MauiPureTM, one of the world’s clearest non-glass lens that is also ultra-light, scratch and impact resistant. Maui Jim also brought to the market the world’s first prescription polarized single-gradient lenses that are available in a range of styles, from aviators and modified wayfarers to glamorous fashion sunglasses. In 2012, Maui Jim achieved another milestone. It made its one-millionth pair of polarized prescription sunglasses!
Recently the company has also received the Seal of Recommendation from The Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV filter for the eyes and the skin around it. All Maui Jim sunglasses are able to meet the stringent requirements of The Skin Cancer Foundation because the company’s PolarizedPlus2 lens technology uses up to nine layers of protection on both sides of each lens to eliminate 100 per cent of all UV rays and 99.9 per cent of glare from above, below and behind each lens.
Maui Jim: Spring 2015 Collection
Every year Maui Jim creates something special for its fans worldwide – special designs that they can look forward to. This year too, for the Spring 2015 Collection, the company has created seven new designs – Hang 10, Castaway, Flat Island, Hidden Pinnacle, Legacy, Silversword and Free Dive.
This new look design has a dramatic rectangular frame with a distinctive wood grain Monel metal pattern. These sunglasses are designed for performance with rubber-tipped temples and adjustable rubber nose pads for a superior fit on large faces. Castaway comes in Dark Gunmetal, Matte Chocolate and Matte Black.
The name is a take-off from Flat Island, the vertically challenged land space just off the coast of Oahu. It is a favourite resting stop for kayakers and a playground for surfers. The Island’s profile is emulated in these injected nylon sunglasses that feature one of the flattest brow lines in the Maui Jim portfolio from which suspend distinctly square lenses. The fixed saddle-style nose bridge is embedded with rubber pads for stability and comfort. Flat Island’s styling also offers hints of faded colour along the temples in Blue Stripe, Brown Stripe or Olive Stripe.
These rectangular sunglasses are best suited for small-to-mid-sized oval or oblong faces. The lightweight acetate frame with saddle-style nose bridge and seamless detailing serves a dual purpose. With ease and comfort, these can be to work and even while fishing. Hidden Pinnacle comes in classic colours, like Gloss Black, Dark Tortoise or Tokyo Tortoise.
This is a new double-bridge nylon aviator that’s a throwback to the 1970s celebrity style. These lightweight, oversize nylon sunglasses have strong brow detailing and unique colour variations that include Brown with Iridescent Aqua, Olive Stripe, Matte Tortoise and Black and Grey Tortoise. They are terrific for round, oval or heart-shaped faces.
1988: Inception of the company in Maui, Hawaii.
1996: RLI Corp. becomes the major stakeholder of Maui Jim.
2006: Launch of 24,000 square feet state-of-the-art surfacing lab.
2007: Maui Readers is launched.
2008: Maui Passport is launched.
2012: Major lens technologies launched including MauiPure.
2015: Maui Jim joins ATP with exclusive official eyewear partnership.